God is a generous giver and His desire is to bless us. It says in James 1:17 that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” So as big-hearted as God is towards us, we need to reflect that generosity in our giving to others. But He’s not just talking about money here…for it’s easy to give money. No, He’s talking about our time…and we’re probably more tight-fisted about that than any amount of money we’d give. Proverbs 21:26 tells us, “The righteous give without sparing.” So if you’ve been stingy with your time for the Lord…think of this…you will never be able to out give God.
As Christians, we are to be imitators of Christ. We are to follow His lead in how to deal with people we come in contact with daily. This requirement of impartiality towards others is displayed throughout the Bible…making it very clear, “God does not show favoritism.” Partiality and bias are easy traps to fall into, unless we make a conscious decision to follow the pattern of Jesus instead. For if you boil favoritism down…all you get is the ugliness of bigotry and prejudice.
The next time you’re in a heated debate, take notice of your body language. Are your arms tightly crossed over your chest? You’re being defensive and resistive to the person and words that are being spoken to you. Are you shaking your head ” No “as someone is speaking to you? You’re not listening, but rather formulating what you want to say in response as soon as that person takes their next breath. This scripture shows that the art of communication is listening deliberately, speaking carefully, and not allowing knee-jerk reactionary anger to prevail.
Deuteronomy 10:17 states, “God doesn’t show partiality and He accepts no bribes.” So as a Follower of Jesus, we should not either. When we allow bias to color our judgment…we are opening ourselves up to bigotry… prejudging entire groups of people based on one incident…or one person. God never favors one person over another…for He is always impartial and fair…and we should be also.
Last night our small group Bible study had quite a lively discussion on discrimination within the Church. We tend to be most comfortable at Church when everyone looks and acts like us. Our prejudice surfaces when someone outside that “mold” ventures into the Sanctuary seeking the Lord. Yes, they may not look like you…they may not have the same values or mores…but they are still a Child of God searching for the truth. We need to extend to them the same love that Jesus did…not judging, but supporting and encouraging as the Holy Spirit moves in their life.
In James it says to not merely listen to the Word…but do It. In order to put your trust in the Lord, you must take what you hear and apply it to your life. You need to take that head knowledge and internalize it into heart knowledge. The Word of God is powerful and alive, but if it goes in one ear and out the other, it’s of no use to you. For just hearing God’s voice will never cause change within… unless you do something with it.
Prayer is good…action is good, but the Lord wants us to do both together in wisdom. In Nehemiah 4: 8-9 it says, “They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to met this threat.” Prayer will give you God’s vision. It will give you courage and resolve to move out in discernment and a clearer understanding of the problem you face. Prayer is good…action is good, but they need to go hand in hand to be the most effective.